Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tomato Central

The garden tomatoes have hit town. Folks are eating as many of the homegrown beauties as they can--and now are giving away bagfuls at coffee. When you want to use a lot of tomatoes while preserving their vineripe flavor, here's a local trick:
Chop up a bunch of tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil. Put tomatoes in three equal piles, with the sweetest tomatoes in pile #3.
Saute the first pile of toms and most of the garlic in a skillet with a little pre-heated olive oil.
After a few moments (garlic is browned) add second pile of toms. Cook for about a minute.
Turn OFF the heat. Add pile #3 of toms, the basil and the rest of garlic. Toss and wait for a few minutes. Add salt, red pepper flakes, grated hard cheese if you wish.
So some toms are cooked and some are raw. Tastes like heaven. Can put on pasta, sourdough bread, polenta or anything.
Enjoy it with some Pinot Grigio, or my preference, Sauvignon Blanc.

This week's fitness tip comes from my sister Karen. Do your hips sometimes hurt? Yeah, I thought so.
Whenever you can, sit cross-legged on the floor. Even better, put your hands on the floor, palms down, right behind you. That's it. So simple even Dave could do it.
It stretches out the tightness from walking, biking, sitting on a chair and just living.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Wine Spectator -- the Mag for the Gullible

Maybe it was just a matter of time for this to happen. Wine Spectator gave an award to a Milan restaurant that doesn't exist, falling for a hoax by a wine blogger who thinks such award programs are baloney. Robin Goldstein invented Osteria L'Intrepido restaurant, created a bogus website, menu and wine list and submitted them to the magazine’s annual award program. It was one of 3,000 plus restaurants that won. Only 400 entries lost. Each entry pays $250 to enter, earning the mag a cool million bucks.
The hoax was kind of mean, actually, because Robin even created fake restaurant reviews on Chowhound. But the "gotcha" reveals how worthless these awards are when you are looking for a good restaurant wine list.
The best wine lists are the ones that let you bring your own local wine and waive corkage if you also buy a bottle of the restaurant list---or let the servers taste your wine. In Healsdburg, that's Ravenous and H-BAG (Healdsburg Bar and Grill). Others?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Welcome to Harvest

The wine pros in our world are getting ready for harvest and a nervous buzz is in the air. Towns with music in the park are planning their last performance of the year next week and some kids are already in school. And it's hot, hot, hot. Dry rose wines are suddenly in demand to go with all the fruit, nuts and light meals full of greens and slices of succulent pork.
Our exercise of choice: the second-hand, three-speed bike you can use for errands (and to save gas). No need to lock them up--who would steal 'em? Plus hiking in hilly areas at sunset is a must.
The vegetable gardens are also coming in and I'll report on that soon......How about your August favorites?